According to the latest announcement by the Department of Home Affairs, the subclass 189 skilled-independent visa under the New Zealand stream was set to shut down on 1 July 2023 for new applicants. However, dependents and partners of people with pending primary applications remain unaffected by this change.
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The announcement to close the subclass 189 visa complements the new rule changes that enable New Zealand nationals to apply for Australian citizenship by conferral if they have lived in Australia for four years or more on subclass 444 Special Category visa. As a result, those visa holders don’t have to go for a permanent visa first, rendering the subclass 189 visa unnecessary.
The rule change means Non-New Zealand family members of New Zealand nationals eligible under the new amendments have to obtain sponsorship for a permanent child or partner visa before applying for Australian citizenship. Furthermore, New Zealand nationals interested in living and seeking employment in Australia can keep utilizing their subclass 444 Special Category visa.
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